President Hage Geingob will undertake an official visit to France from November 27 to 29, the international relations ministry announced yesterday.
Geingob – who will hold talks with his French counterpart Francois Hollande – will be accompanied by First Lady Monica Geingos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, as well as other ministers and senior government officials.
The Namibian head of state is scheduled to address the French business community and investors and also visit industrial sites while in that country.
In September, Geingob addressed international business representatives in the USA, while in October in Johannesburg he sought to lure investors to the just ended and well-attended ‘Invest in Namibia’ investment conference.
Deals worth billions of dollars were signed or commitments made on them during that conference – the first of its kind in Namibia. Geingob now stands a chance to expand on this mission by meeting French businesses.
“This visit is a continuation of the exchange of high level visits between the two countries to strengthen bilateral relations,” a statement released yesterday reads in part.
Relations between the two countries stretch from the pre-independence era through material and diplomatic support rendered to the ruling party Swapo, then a liberation movement. Swapo maintained diplomatic representation in Paris up to independence in 1990.
“Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established soon after Namibia’s independence, and have resulted in strengthened bilateral relations and cooperation,” the Namibian government said.
“To date, the two countries cooperate in the areas of agriculture, education, transport, energy, water and sanitation, environment protection and conservation, SME development, etc.”
Trade between Namibia and France continues to be promoted. Namibia exports commodities such as fish, fruit, meat and mineral resources to France. French companies are also increasingly showing interest to invest in Namibia.
Areva, a French multinational group specialising in nuclear power and renewable energy, has assets in Namibia.
Other areas that the two nations intend on exploring for cooperation include health, tourism, transport, fisheries and marine resources and information technology.
“While in France President Geingob will seek to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and market investment opportunities in Namibia, thereby enhancing trade between the two countries.”
“To this end a number of memoranda of understanding will be signed.”
President Geingob will have talks with French President Francois Hollande, government confirmed.
“In the spirit of the Namibian house President Geingob will meet with the Namibian community in France and inaugurate the Namibian chancery in Paris.”